l In pursuit of expanded public service through early childhood education, Korean government plans to increase the number of public/government-run kindergartens, and accordingly teachers working for those kindergartens as well.
l This research aimed to provide a mid-long term supply and demand estimates of teachers of public/government-run kindergartens by forecasting teacher demands in accordance with changes in the number of young children and with the standards for staffing in kindergarten.
l Literature review was conducted in 3 steps. Laws and regulations related to kindergarten teachers were examined, statistical data was analyzed, and relevant cases were studied. This study also ran a supply and demand simulation to predict demands for national/public kindergartens. Advisory meetings were held to test its validity.
Kindergarten staffing requirements and current status
l About half of kindergartens (52.7% as of 2013) in Korea are public or government-funded kindergartens. In terms of the number of classes, children, and teachers, just a little more than a quarter (26.9%) of total kindergarten classes, about one in five kindergartners (21.6%) and about a quarter of kindergarten teachers (23.5%) were in public or government-funded kindergartens. Average number of children per teacher was 13.7 in public and 16.9 in private kindergartens.
l Kindergarten staffs are divided into four groups by position: director, assistant director, master teacher, and teacher. Besides director and assistant director, more than 1 teacher is needed for each class; but different regulations are applied if there are 2 classes or less in a kindergarten.
l When looking at the number of newly employed teachers in public/government-run kindergartens from 2001 to 2013, it was 200 to 300 people on average, except for the 2005-2007 period when the number soared to more than 500.
Supply and demand estimates for teachers
l Teacher supply and demand for public/government-run kindergartens were estimated based on the number of children per class depending on age group. Class sizes, set by each local government, vary depending on age group. It ranges from 15-20 children for age 3, 20-26 for age 4, and 23-30 for age 5 groups.
l The number of children (ages 3-5) who will attend public/government-run kindergartens was predicted by regions and ages. These numbers were calculated by using both predicted value of the subject of early childhood education from 2013 to 2030 and the 2012 ratio of kindergartener composition by types of establishment (e.g., public/private).
l Teacher demand estimation showed that, except for Sejong city, which is a planned city, the demand in Seoul, Incheon, and Gyounggi regions increased greatly, while the demand in Gangwon, North Jeolla, South Jeolla, and North Gyeongsang regions decreased a little.
l The size of newly employed teachers was estimated by adding reduced or increased quota compared to last year’s to expect the number of people to retire, based on the premise that vacancy (quota minus current number of staffs) is zero, and the number of teachers on leave is same as the number of teachers who return to work.
l It is estimated that the size of new employment will decline to 400 in 2014 from 904 in 2013, and then will go up again. It, however, is predicted that 1,000 new hires are necessary every year, because it is expected that the size of new hires will decrease after 2022 when the number of people who is expected to retire soars.
l Increase accessibility and enrollment rate of public/government-funded kindergartens
l Reduce the teacher to student ratio.
l Increase the number and percentage of full-time teachers
l Set standards for teacher qualifications to work in public/government-funded kindergartens
l Establish public/government-funded kindergartens considering equity and accessibility issues among regions.
l Bridge the regional gaps by expanding incentives for teachers in vulnerable regions.